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The Philadelphia Enquirer: Podcast options aplenty for poetry

Here is Katie's excellent article on poetry podcasting, written with help from several members of the APP.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I publish her questions to me and my answers here:

Q: When did you start the APP and why? How many members does the APP have?

A: It started out in August 2005 when I suggested to Will Brown that we might start a Poetry Podcasting banner exchange, to allow some cross-promotion between podcasting sites with an interest in poetry. This exchange quickly grew, and an organic community grew around it where we discussed poetry podcasting issues via email.
In June 2006 it dawned on us that the Poetry Podcasting community needed to have a focal point for any parties interested in the subject, for instance, an authoritative voice to speak to journalists, a place for poetry podcasters (both established and new) to get together, and a place for listeners and poets to find relevant podcasts.
We launched the APP on July 1st 2006, with 10 founding members. See our press release here:
The APP now has 33 members.

Q: Do you have a sense of how many people out there are podcasting poetry shows?

A: iTunes podcast search for the word 'Poetry' yields 139 matches. A bewildering array. The APP, in which eligibility for membership is judged by peers, hopes to provide listeners with the cream of poetry podcasts.

Q: Do you remember the first poetry podcast you ever heard, the one that got you excited about all this?

A: When I decided to create Slam Idol in March 2005 I was not aware of any poetry podcasts. I was aware of performance poetry, and I was aware of podcasting, but I was not inspired to put the two together by any pre-existing podcast. Once I had the idea, naturally I searched for poetry podcasts, and found poets like PodPoet ( and Dan Adinolfi ( podcasting their own poetry on their personal podcasts, but I thought I would be doing something new by bringing poets together competitively in my own podcast.

Q: How do you spread the word about the APP and its members?

A: We ask our members to provide a link to the APP's website on their own website, and we also encourage our members to play an audio 'sweeper' on their shows proclaiming their membership.

Q: Could you tell us about your Slam Idol podcast? Who gets to vote? Do you have a background in broadcast media yourself? (I really got a kick out of the different versions of the Gary Annal interview in your most recent episode, by the way. Also liked what I heard of Elvis McGonagall's poem and Elf Sex Planetary in Contest 19.)

A: Anyone can vote in the Slam Idol podcast, but I try to put mechanisms in place to prevent people from trying to vote more than once. The more genuine votes, the better! Likewise, anyone can compete - they just need to send me a poem they've written and performed themselves. I love the variety, from world champion Slam Poets recorded performing live on stage, to shy amateurs whispering into a microphone in their bedroom. All nationalities, ages, colours, genders and styles are welcome. In the last two and a half years I've done over 200 shows, run 17 contests in audio format and 2 contests in video format, featuring 86 poets and 36 interviews to date. One of the proudest moments was the one where I got 6 poets to write a poem especially for Slam Idol to a 10-day deadline, and got them to record an audio diary throughout the process. It really provided a fascinating insight into the creative process.
Slam Idol has been featured a couple of times in the Guardian, and also in The Sunday Times.

Q: Do you consider podcasts a boon to spoken word/performance poetry, or have they been beneficial for "traditional" print poetry as well?

A: Many of the poets featured on poetry podcasts also have poetry works available in print. They don't all have CD's or poetry gigs to promote, and yet they choose to promote their name and their works on poetry podcasts. Through podcasting they can gain exposure and customers for their written works too.


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